We've reached the end of three more months in site. We've endured a flood, spent our first Christmas abroad, run three more weeks of summer camp, started exercising more and have watched the easing into of a new school year in La Colonia. The time hasn't been without its challenges, but has offered us some successes. We try to greet each day like the new one that it is, cross our fingers and hope that maybe today will be the day that our decision to join Peace Corps will make sense. Here's another photo album / journal review for your reading pleasure:
The roads to the cuadrantes had been swallowed. Our protection [boots, rain coats and umbrellas] did us little good when we decided to follow the crowd of colegio students walking through the flooded road. By the time we got to the bridge by the colegio water was at mid-thigh. The guys took it as an opportunity to swim.
Unfortunately I sliced my thumb in the process of trying to fold over the edges of the tuna can for safety.
Well, we started the day riding the bus to the colegio. It was pouring, so we paid the 800 colones, but then the bus went to the old colegio, so we were out 800 colones and still had to walk. Go us.
Then English class. We crammed a shocking 7 people onto the porch with us tonight. [note: there were also 4 bikes and a Christmas tree on the porch - and it's not a very big porch]
They broke the broom handle three times, but then when they piñata finally broke they all jumped. Before I could blink the candy had been claimed. Watching the next group I was able to see their technique. When the candy flies, throw yourself on the floor and everything under you is yours to keep.
As we were finishing dinner Rafa came into the kitchen with a pig thrown over his shoulder (it was in a bag) and hefted it onto the counter. By the time we went out to brush our teeth a couple of guys were having at it and talking about how the fridge was pretty small and what they were going to do with the feet.
During the walk Jefferson told Chris that if we one day have a son he should be named Superman or Spider-Man.
We started talking about bullies and when we asked if there was a name for the victim we were told "nerd." [note: nerd is not translated here, that is the actual word that was used]
We went for a walk at dusk and came home to a tamal making lesson. Two banana leaves, masa, rice, beans, chili, carrot, green bean, peas and culantro all folded up and tied together.
We ate a quick lunch, saw the bus go past and then literally ran to catch it. We're pretty fast though and ended up having to wait at the offices for the bus to catch up!
Maria and Rafa started making Christmas Cake tonight, but got distracted by killing the turkey.
Hmmm...Christmas Eve. It sure doesn't feel like it. There are the sounds of karaoke down the road, random explosions of fire works and the occasional shout or burst of laughter from the street. It's a far cry from the Christmas Eves of my youth - listening to Uncle Brian sing "Oh Holy Night," going to AB and UBs for crackers and cheese, meatballs, veggies and more Christmas sweets than you'd imagine. Tonight there will be no candlelight service, no traditional hymns, no reflections of Christmas lights in the snow. Hamburgers, fried yuca and flan were our Christmas Eve treats. Life sure has changed a lot over the past 10 - 15 years.
...while I hung out and finished a load of wash - which is conveniently about as wet now as it was fresh out of the washer.
Happy New Year's Eve! The neighbors have their karaoke machines plugged in and ready to go, fire crackers are going off in the streets and then the rain came pouring down.
We're going to be healthier, more positive and we're going to get things done. At least we're hopeful for what the year may bring and all that we have the potential to do, no matter how big or small.
We rode horses today!
Our big success for the day was getting keys to the school so we can actually get in for camp. Yay!
Guicho told Chris that camp was very good today.
Origami was awesome! Everyone was engaged for the whole three hours and there weren't any coloring books used today - bonus!
So, tag doesn't go well with three kids. Instead we played Go Fish, Basura, LRC and with the foam pads. [note: the foam pads are giant foam puzzle pieces with numbers and letters in them]
8AM: No kids.
8:15AM: Go for a walk, no one is out
8:30AM: Return to school, still no kids
9AM: Ready to leave, David shows up and we start to play Uno. Shortly after Hellen Dayana and Marlon show up
9:30AM: David needs to leave
9:40AM: Marlon laves
10:15AM: Dayana is more interested in taking photos
10:30AM: We walk Dayana home, she takes a couple of photos, there's talk of riding bikes at 2 (it doesn't happen)
How many gringos does it take to make a Tico dinner you ask? Four. We all had our roles. Chris made crema de ayote, Megon did tortillas, Kevin cut platano and Megon fried and flattened into patacones, I flipped tortillas and fried the flattened patacones. It was all delicious!
Camp is done!
An early morning of feeding the animals before the sun came up led to a fun, but long, day.
This is sure to be one crazy adventure.
We picked up trash around the work site and at our lowest moment yet, as Peace Corps Volunteers, set it on fire. I had hoped to get through these two years without burning trash, but I was handed a box of matches upon asking what we should do with the trash.
Big news of the day is that we're going camping tomorrow!
We left the house at a little before six, running in the rain and after the bus. [note: we also had our nice big backpacks on our backs, good thing it was a quick run]
What a beautiful place! We got to the overlook just before the fog rolled in and were able to get some quick photos.
Setting up the hammock for the first time in the rain wasn't the best of ideas, but after our second attempt it was good enough for one night.
We're kind of in limbo right now.
Spent the evening listening to music and playing canasta. This is a most excellent way to pass the time - mostly relaxing and listening to music. Our lives have been lacking on the music front, but canasta gives us a good two hours or so to just hear beautiful sounds.
Well, in theory school started today. Kids showed up in uniform, there were acto civicos, though I'm not sure that much else was accomplished.
We sang "Si estas feliz y lo sabe" (If You're Happy and You Know It) twice in the escuela. No one was really happy though.
Woke up to a nice chilly mountain morning!
To our surprise Josh was in the office (with a beard - bonus surprise!) and we ended up spending most of the rest of the day with him.
The Indian came back to haunt me.
One of these days we're hoping to work.
For the return trip of my run Yohancer and his uncle rode their bikes along side of me and we talked until we arrived at the cuadrantes.
In other news, happy 9 months in site. Go us.
After class, Jefferson and I looked at photos on the touch - that was pretty awesome, he loved swiping the photos.
Yesterday's trip was uneventful with the exception of finding Chris a new wedding band. [note: the old one was lost during a soccer game]
So there you have it, the past three months in our site. If you have questions, go ahead and ask! We'd be happy to elaborate.
Coming up... One Year in Costa Rica!